Aria is located on the site of the old Rockbridge Baths Hotel and Springs which was built in 1857 and burned in 1926. Among the notable visitors was Robert E Lee when he was president of Washington College (now Washington and Lee). Lee references The Baths in several letters:
From his son:
…”That summer he took my mother to the Rockbridge Baths, about eleven
miles from Lexington, to give her the benefit of the waters, which,
he hoped, might give her some relief from the continual pain she
suffered. She did derive benefit, but, unfortunately, had a fall which
seriously impeded the improvement. In reply to a note from my mother
telling him of her misfortune and asking him to send her some medicines,
he writes the following note:
“Lexington, Virginia, August 10, 1866.
“My Dear Mary: On receiving your note, yesterday, I had only time to
get the arnica and send it by the stage. I am very sorry that you
received such a fall, and fear it must have been a heavy shock to you.
I am, however, very thankful that you escaped greater injury, and
hope it is no worse than you describe. I will endeavour to get down
to see you to-morrow evening, and trust I may find you somewhat relieved
from its effects. We are pretty well here. Many people are out of
town, and I have not seen those who are in. Love to the girls.
“Truly and affectionately yours,
“R. E. Lee.
Lexington, Virginia, July 20, 1866.
“My Dear Mary: I was glad to receive your note this morning, and
wish it could have reported a marked improvement in your health. But
that, I trust, will come in time. It has been impossible for me to
return to you this week, and, indeed, I do not see how I can absent
myself at all. I shall endeavour to go to the Baths Monday, and hope
during the week you may be able to determine whether it would be more
advantageous for you to remain there or go further, as I shall have
to return here as soon as I can.”
“Cholagogue was a fever-and-argue remedy of which I partook largely at
that time. After this letter, my sisters joined my mother at the
Baths, my father still spending most of his time in Lexington, but
riding over to see them whenever he could. He was very busy repairing
some of the old buildings of the college and arranging his work for
the next session. Here is another short note to my mother:
“Lexington, Virginia, August 2, 1866.
“My Dear Mary: Mr. Campbell has just informed me that Cousins George
and Eleanor Goldsborough are with you. Tell them they must not go
till I can get to the Baths. I think the waters of the latter will
do them as much good as anything they can try, and the sight of them
will do me great benefit. I find here much to do, but will endeavour
to be with you to-morrow evening or Saturday morning.”
The Men’s Baths are still in existence and are private property, but those who have bathed in them can attest to their healing properties and consistent 72 degree temperature.
Is there anything prettier than bright pink azaleas? These were taken on the property and you can see how the river just sparkles!
Lovely riverfront property for sale in beautiful Rockbridge Baths, Va. just a hop, skip and a jump from historic Lexington, Va. home of Washington and Lee University and Virginia Military Institute. Nearby cities include Charlottesville (Trader Joe’s), Lynchburg, Staunton and Roanoke. Enjoy the serenity of the countryside with easy access to more urban environments. Explore the Shenandoah Valley and the Blue Ridge Mountains.
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